There is no denying that technology has taken over our lives. There is hardly a way to avoid it these days whether you are paying bills, doing research or simply trying to stay in touch with others. In many ways technology has been a blessing. It has helped us communicate more easily and more effectively than ever before, and it can save a lot of time and energy. But with just how prevalent technology is, it can be difficult to look away from the screen, even when it comes to relaxing and entertainment. This is true for both adults and children, but since children are growing up into this world it can be easy for them to miss out on the outside world – especially if all they know is technology.
As a parent, it may be easy to give your child a mobile device of some sort, whether it be a phone or a tablet, or sit them down in front of the TV all queued up with their favorite Netflix shows. While this can come in handy once a while, and making sure that your kids are watching and playing positive and educational shows and games, it is still important that you make sure that your children are not too dependent on technology.
For kids growing up in a world where technology is everywhere, this may seem like an impossible task, but here are some things you can incorporate into your child’s daily routine in order to make sure that they don’t get too attached:
- Schedule some tech-free time. Set aside mobile devices, TV’s and other electronics for an hour, during certain activities such as mealtimes, or even entire portions of the day. Making technology-free time can make a huge difference. If kids know that they aren’t supposed to be using specific devices during a certain time of day, they can begin to interact with the world and the people around them more naturally without feeling like they are being forced to do so. Kids are very receptive to routines, so making it a part of your day will make it come naturally to children and it will be easier to draw them away from mobile devices while encouraging play time, family time, or any other activity.
- Lead by example. Kids do a lot of learning by watching, listening and mimicking, so it is important that parents learn not to use technology too much as well. When enacting tech-free portions of the day or other tech-free activities, make sure to take part yourself! As studies show, when parents read so do their children, so picking up some good habits of your own can prove to be beneficial for both you and your children.
- For older kids, social media may be a huge part of their lives, so banning the use of technology entirely by taking away phones and computers can actually be a bit detrimental. What you can do, however, is limit social media usage to certain times of day or to places such as only while at home. This way, your children can be social and chat with friends without being on their mobile devices all day long, no matter where they happen to be. The same goes for younger children who may use these devices for games and apps instead of social media. Limit game time to car rides or other periods of time, but make sure that kids participate in other activities as well, such as reading, physical exercise and good old family time.